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Donnerstag, 30. August 2012

From the garden of Drui to the deep of the woods;-) the spider´s lesson of survival

 We were at Drui´s home in Prichsenstadt for holiday, and I was very impressed. Her garden is full of wild herbs and plants and green, and it is always amazing how much love she gives those little green fellows. Most impressive was this beautiful evening primrose (Oenothera biennis, in German: Nachtkerze). Apart from being beautiful, it offers food for many insects, you can process an oil from the flowers that has a calming and antidepressive effect, the root can be eaten as a nourishing and tasty vegetable and pickled.

 Coneflower (Echinacea, in German: Sonnenhut). Great immune system stimulans, against bronchitis and illness of the lung area. Beautiful, too. This one was growing wild, but of course there also is one in Drui´s garden, but an Echinacea purpurea.

 Towards the forest we ventured. The acorns (Quercus robur, in German: Eiche, Eichel) are getting there. You can make meal from them, and even a coffee  substitute, but they are very bitter, as they contain a high amount of Tannine acid. To process them, you have to water them for at least 24 h. Do not eat too much of them unprocessed, for it will have adverse effects on your stomach! As is, they are a great survival food with a load of starch and protein.
 Some kind of bracket fungus, no clue what this is, or if it´s edible at all, but I found it to be beautiful;-).
 My lovely woman in the woods-two assets at once!*ggg*
 On we ventured into the thicket of the woods...
 ...and waiting there was this sparassis crispa, in German: Fette Henne or Krause Glucke, which, for the most part is a delicious edible funghus. This one was inhabited;-), and we left it be.
 Then we came across this fox´s den, where we found some bones. Drui sneered at them, for they were not suited for her tasks-or so she thought;-).
 At this beautiful grove we had a tiny rest...

 ...and it seems Nessie and her little sister could convince my woman the bones were indeed suited for her tasks... I made some bone needles for her and learned a lot in the process. Flowers are boring gifts...*ggg*

 Beautiful was the dew on this lady´s mantle!
 And then the magic troll tutored me and my dedicated readers on how to make cordage. We took purple moor-grass (molinia caerulea, in German : Pfeifengras). With our fingernails we split the grass shaft in two.

 Then the strands were drilled in opposite directions.
 ...more drilling and twining...
 Then everything should fall into place;-).
 The product can serve as a makeshift cordage. You can also take two and intertwine them to achieve more strength, for that dimension can work no wonders.
 It might be a better choice to take nettles.
 Then my favourite magic troll set out and made a basket out of sand couch strands ( Elytrigia truncea, in German: Binsen). I totally messed up braiding, so I did some carving. But she was so quick, I only could carve out an outline!

 Beautiful, again. It always amazes me, how skilled and clever my woman is...
 Then this little fellow came by on her evening jog... that snail was really fast!*ggg*
 We collected a load of mistles, and kissed under a mistletoe... what does that mean?;-) Anyway, it were great woods out there, and the sun was shining....

 In the field there lived a host of wasp spiders (argiope bruennichi, in German: Wespenspinne). They wrap their prey in silk and then inject them with a paralyzing venom.
 We were witness to such a process, a fact we were right grateful for!
 The prey, some poor grasshopper, being wrapped in silk and paralyzed.

 The spider waiting for more prey to be caught.

Nature might give an impression of being nice and peaceful, and indeed there always is an air of peace under the trees. But one should always be careful to imply our conceptions of good and evil to nature. Nature is never good or evil, it simply is. In my opinion, it is one of the most important aspects of survival to keep that in mind. Nature is impersonal. It does not "mean" anything. It happens, it is.
Just as well as it can provide for you, it can "use" you as a provision, but this term is incorrect. More exactly said, you can end up as hunter or prey.

So many survival concepts are all about the aspect of you fighting against nature. This, in my opinion, might be a wrong path. If you allow it to happen, you will learn that there is a place for you in the structure or, better, the process called nature. The wasp spider is a fierce hunter. We might sympathise with the spider or the grasshopper, but that does not change anything. The spider does not kill because it sympathises. It kills for food, and for its own survival, following the instinct that drives all animals, mammals as well as insects, reptiles or birds-the instinct of survival. It fights, but it fights FOR something, not against something. It is a fierce hunter, but prey to other hunters. My conclusion to this train of thought is:

In a survival situation, I will set my mind not to fight AGAINST the circumstances. I will try to blend into the situation. I will adapt to the task at hand. I will fight FOR my survival, my wellfare, my well-being and health. I will accept the fact that I can fall prey to other hunters, but that I am a hunter, too.

This, by the way, is an important aspect of the hornéd God, Cernunnos. The deer-like shamanic deity that propels modern paganism is hunter, but as a deer, at the same time prey.

Man can be more than a spider, if he / she gets to know the place suited for mankind. Presently, mankind is much less than a spider, for it is anlawful and destroys itself. Presently, mankind is the only species on the planet gone mad.

Bushcraft or survival could change something. But in my book, in modern-day- survival, one most important aspect is missing: Love. Not some silly affection, but a love that can forget about itself, to become a part of the process of naturedom. I want to learn, and this is what I want to learn first and foremostly.

Gnothi se auton.

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